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Spirited Holidays

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First published by:
Robert Hess
on 2 Jul 2011
Last revision by:
Robert Hess
on 31 Aug 2017
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Spirited Holidays

Below are a collection of "not necessarily highly researched" days which appear to be in some way cocktail/drink related. We should try to add and update to this list when additional dates, or additional information comes to light.

 

JANUARY

National Hot Tea Month

National Irish Coffee Week (4th week)

1              Bloody Mary Day (sometimes... See December 1)

11           National Hot Toddy Day

16           Prohibition began (1920)

17           National Hot Buttered Rum Day

19           Champagne Day

24           The Beer Can was introduced (1935)

25           Robbie Burns Day

25           National Irish Coffee Day

31           National Brandy Alexander Day

FEBRUARY

First Saturday of February:                Pisco Sour Day
The National Day of Pisco Sour is celebrated every first Saturday of February, according to a resolution of the Ministry of Production published in 2004. Before that, it was celebrated on February 8th.

4              1862 - Facundo Bacardi Masso, and his brother Jose, bought the Santiago de Cuba distillery and started making rum. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacardi)

7              National Hangover Awareness Day

10           Rum and Coca Cola by Andrews Sisters hits #1 (1945)

11           Don't Cry Over Split Milk Day

17           National Café Au Lait Day

18           Drink Wine Day

22           National Margarita Day

22           Don Beach's Birthday

27           National Kahlua Day

MARCH

1              Beer Day (in Iceland) - March 1, 1989 is when the 74 year prohibition of beer ended in Iceland. This apparently is a well-celebrated holiday in Iceland.

3              National Mulled Wine Day

4              First tavern in U.S. opens (1634)

16           Bock Beer Day

17           St. Patrick's Day

17           National Green Beer Day

20           Bock Beer Day

27           The corkscrew is patented (1860)

APRIL

8              Milk in Glass Bottles Day

15           Income Tax Day (also Accountant's Day)

16           Kingsley Amis' Birthday (1922) Gravesite reads "supreme clubman, boozer and blimp."

19           Alcohol Content allowed on labels (1955)

26           National Pretzel Day - celebrate this one with a beer

MAY

National Egg Month

Second Week: American Craft Beer Week

Second Week: World Cocktail Week (Designated by The Museum of the American Cocktail)

4              National Homebrew Day

4              National Orange Juice Day

4              Bourbon Whiskey Defined (1964)

http://www.justaddbourbon.com/bourbonbuzz/print.aspx?id=209

 

Senate Concurrent Resolution 19

In the Senate of the United States

May 4, 1964

Ordered to be printed as passed

Concurrent Resolution

Whereas it has been the commercial policy of the United States to recognize marks of origin a applicable to alcoholic beverages imported into the United States; and

Whereas such commercial policy has been implemented by the promulgation of appropriate regulations which: among other things, establish standards of identity for such imported alcoholic beverages; and

Whereas among the standards of identity which have been established are those for "Scotch whiskey" as a distinctive product of Scotland, manufactured in Scotland in compliance with the laws of Great Britain regulating the manufacture of Scotch whisky for consumption in Great Britain and for "Canadian whisky" as a distinctive product of Canada manufactured in Canada in compliance with the laws of the Dominion of Canada regulating the manufacture of whisky for the consumption in Canada and for "Cognac" as grape brandy distilled in the Cognac region of France, which is entitled to be so designated by the laws and regulations of the French Government; and

Whereas "Bourbon whisky" is a distinctive product of the United States and is unlike other types of alcoholic beverages, whether foreign or domestic; and

Whereas to be entitled to the designation "Bourbon whisky" the product must conform to the highest standards and must be manufactured in accordance with the laws and regulations of the United States which prescribe a standard of identity for "Bourbon whiskey"; and

Whereas Bourbon whisky has achieved recognition and acceptance throughout the world as a distinctive product of the United States:

Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring),

That it is the sense of Congress the recognition of Bourbon whisky as a distinctive product of the United States be brought to the attention of the appropriate agencies of the United States Government toward the end that such agencies will take appropriate action to prohibit the importation into the United States of whisky designated as "Bourbon whiskey."

 

5              Cinco de Mayo

6              Beverage Day

6-13       World Cocktail Week

8              "Have A Coke" day

13           World Cocktail Day: The word "cocktail" is first defined in print (1806)

16           Charles Hires invents Root Beer (1866)

20           Last episode of "Cheers" airs (1993)

25           National Wine Day

28           Ian Fleming's Birthday (1908)

30           National Mint Julep Day

JUNE

National Ice Tea Month

National Dairy Lovers Month

1              Scotch Whiskey Day (mine)

Friar John Cor was recorded on June 1, 1494 as procuring supplies for the making of copious amounts of whisky for his Majesty, Jimie the IV. Not particularly an event of note excepting that this is the first known recorded use of the word whiskey and indicatory of a healthy and long established tradition of distilling whisky in Great Briton, else wise he'd not been making 1500 bottles of the stuff.

"To Friar John Cor, by order of the King, to make aqua vitae VIII bolls of malt." - Exchequer Rolls 1494-95, Vol x, p. 487.

4              National Cognac Day

7              Dean Martin is born (1917)

8              Vodka Day (mine)

The first written usage of the word vodka in an official Russian document in its modern meaning is dated by the decree of Empress Elizabeth of June 8, 1751, which regulated the ownership of vodka distilleries.

10           Iced Tea Day

12           Cachaca Day
From: http://www.brazzil.com/p25jul96.htm
" The SBC (Sociedade Brasileira da Cachaça) wants to declare June 12 the International Day of Cachaça because June 12, 1744, Portugal, then colonizer of Brazil, prohibited the production and distribution of cachaça in the country."

19           National Martini Day

20           Ice Cream Soda Day

27           National Orange Blossom Day

30           National Ice Cream Soda Day

JULY

2              National Anisette Day

10           National Pina Colada Day

14           National Grand Marnier Day

19           National Daiquiri Day

24           National Tequila Day

26           National Coffee Milkshake Day

27           National Scotch Day

AUGUST

2              Peter O'Toole's Birthday (1932)

4              Champagne is "said" to have been invented by Dom Perignon on this day in 1693.
It was said that upon his first taste of his sparkling champagne wine he announced "Come quickly, I am drinking stars!". However sparkling wine was known before this time, one possible originator was Christopher Merret, who published in 1662 an account of making wines "brisk and sparkling" by adding sugars to them. Dom's quote is probably also more marketing than actual fact, since its first appearance is in a print advertisement in the late 19th century. This should not undermine Dom Perignon's value to the history of Champagne, because he did work tirelessly on advancing and perfecting the art, and almost certainly the product we drink today owes more than a small debt to his efforts.

5              International Beer Day (http://internationalbeerday.com/) Apparently "first celebrated" on August 5th, 2007, and henceforth christened.

"On the night in question, we were beerstorming (drinking lots of beer in an effort to come up with brilliant ideas) band names for a friend's new band, but a couple of hours into the evening, talk turned to how wonderful beerstorming itself was. After thoroughly discussing beerstorming's merits someone declared that there should be a beer holiday."

6              Root Beer Float Day

9             Diet Coke introduced (1982)

16           National Rum Day

20           Lemonade Day

29           National Whisky Sour Day

29           Lemon Juice Day

30           Mai Tai Day (as per the Trader Vic Company)

SEPTEMBER

California Wine Month

2              Beer & Can Day

12           Chocolate Milkshake Day

15           National Crème de Menthe Day

19           Talk like a Pirate Day

20           National Rum Punch Day

21           Dale DeGroff's Birthday

27           National Chocolate Milk Day

28           Drink Beer Day

29           National Coffee Day

30           National Mulled Cider Day

OCTOBER

American Beer Week (2nd week)

1              Sake Day (Nihonshu no Hi)
http://www.sake-world.com/html/sw-2004_9.html
Why October 1? Several reasons. The biggest is related to the written character for sake. (For those that do not know what it looks like, go to my site at www.sake-world.com and look in the lower left-hand corner. It is the first of the three characters below the "search site" box.) Long ago, it consisted of only the right half of its current form; it did not contain the three short lines on the left that represent water. It consisted only of the part that was made to look like a jar, indicating something holding liquid, which was of course an alcoholic beverage of some sort in the mind of those reading the character.

Enter the Chinese zodiac: 12 animal signs that are traditionally used to number years in sequence, as well as months, as well as consecutive two-hour periods in each 24-hour day. The tenth of these, corresponding to the tenth month (and the tenth year and the tenth hour) is tori, or chicken (or perhaps rooster or cock). However, the written characters assigned to each of these animals are not the standard characters for the animals themselves, but rather special characters and readings applied only for these zodiacal instances.

This is where my detailed knowledge of Chinese characters and their adoption into Japanese breaks down and fades into near oblivion. For some reason, the ancient character for sake described above has been assigned to the tenth animal. It currently does not have any other use in either language. (The character, that is. Not the chicken. Chickens have lots of uses. But I digress again.)

So, by fortuitous coincidence, October is represented in the ancient Chinese zodiac system, also embraced by Japan, by the old character for sake. Well, isn't that *convenient*. Sake brewing begins in the fall, usually in October. In fact, until a few decades ago, the fiscal year for sake brewers began on October 1 for that reason. As technology advanced to the point that brewers were able to start brewing much earlier and continue much later in the spring than before, that tax-related fiscal day was changed to July 1, but the original date of October 1 was certainly more apropos until recently.

Indeed, October represents a beginning in the sake world: the beginning of a new brewing season. And the first day of this month is certainly a day worthy of note and some celebration in the sake world. And that is why October 1 is known as "Nihonshu no Hi," or "Sake Day," in Japan.

4              National Vodka Day

5              Bloody Mary??

http://www.ediblecommunities.com/manhattan/september/october-2009/notable-edibles.htm

Legend has it the world's first Bloody Mary was shaken precisely 75 years ago, on October 5, 1934-just five years after the invention of canned tomato juice-at the King Cole Bar in the St. Regis, the now-100-year-old beaux arts hotel founded by John Jacob Astor at the eminently exclusive corner of Fifth Avenue and 55th Street.

Back then the bar served a worldly mix of socialites, including Serge Obolensky, vice chairman of the board of Hilton Hotels and a Russian native with a penchant for vodka. Obolensky asked barkeep Fernand Petiot, who'd also tended a hotel bar in Paris, to re-create the vodka and tomato juice cocktail Obolensky had recently swilled in that city, and Mary-complete with salt, pepper, lemon and Worcestershire sauce and named for the Catholic English queen who had killed so many Protestants-was born.

7              National Frappe Day

11           World Egg Day

12           First Oktoberfest Celebrated (1810) - it was actually a party to celebrate the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig and Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oktoberfest}

16           National Liqueur Day

20           National Brandied Fruit Day

27           American Beer Day

NOVEMBER

National Pomegranate Month

1              Birth of Jerry Thomas (or there abouts) in 1830, or was it 1829?

8              Harvey Wallbanger Day

24           National Espresso Day

DECEMBER

National Egg Nog Month

Second Week: Lager Beer Week

1              Bloody Mary Day

There is some dispute and some confusion regarding when the Bloody Mary was first concocted, and by who, and frankly, even what the recipe was. Many say that Fernand Petoit first created it at Harry's American Bar in Paris during the 1920's, where it was essentially just tomato juice and Vodka (vodka was available in Paris before it was being regularly seen in the US). Mr. Petoit then moved to the US in the 1930's where he was the head bartender at New York's St. Regis hotel. It is here that it is said that the drink went through a number of changes. First was that the more common gin was used instead of vodka. That it got the addition of Worcestershire, lemon juice, and Tabasco. And that it was given the name "Red Snapper" to be less vulgar. Later on, vodka would have been switched back in as the spirit, and the drink returned to its original name of Bloody Mary.

There are those however who point to George Jessel as being the originator of the drink. He himself has some slightly conflicting stories, one claims (from "The World I Lived In" 1975) that it was in 1927 in Palm Beach, that he mixed vodka, Worcestershire sauce, tomato juice and lemon to help with a hangover. But in an Ad that appeared in Colliers Magazine, March 30, 1956, George Jessel claims that he simply mixed (Smirnoff) vodka and tomato juice together.

In an interview with Fernand Petoit which appeared in the July 18, 1964 edition of the New Yorker, Mr. Petoit says: "...George Jessel said he created it, but it was really nothing but vodka and tomato juice when I took it over. I cover the bottom of the shaker with four large dashes of salt, two dashes of black pepper, two dashes of cayenne pepper, and a layer of Worcestershire sauce; I then add a dash of lemon juice and some cracked ice, put in two ounces of vodka and two ounces of thick tomaoto juice, shake, strain, and pour."

So it appear as though that while there is some contradictory overlapping of these stories, the thread of commonality here is that Mr. Petoit admits as to not as specifically "inventing" the drink, but "perfecting" it.

5              Prohibition repealed in U.S. (1933)

10           National Lager Day

12           National Ambrosia Day

13           National Cocoa Day

14           Death of Jerry Thomas (1885)

20           National Sangria Day

24           National Eggnog Day

30           National Bicarbonate Of Soda Day

31           National Champagne Day

 

Coffee Days:

May 6 = National Coffee Day

May 24 = National Coffee Day in Brazil

July 22 = Coffee Week

July 24 = Coffee Day

August = National Coffee Month

September 12 = National Coffee Day in Costa Rica

September 19 = National Coffee Day in Ireland

September 29 = National Coffee Day

October 1 = National Coffee Day in Japan

November 24 = National Espresso Day

December 26 = Coffee Percolator Day

 

 

Websites:

http://www.thenibble.com/fun/more/facts/food-holidays.asp

http://www.tfdutch.com/foodh.htm

http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/National_Symbols/American_Hollidays.html

http://www.partyguideonline.com/months/Gregorian.html

http://www.mypunchbowl.com/holidays/

http://www.anyexcuseforaparty.com/excuses.htm

 

Recent Comments

By: Robert Hess Posted on 21 Sep 2011 5:16 PM

In celebration of Dale Degroff's Birthday today, I have added September 21st to the "Spirited Holidays" calendar in his honor.

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